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Jody and I were quietly driving, heading home on the highway. I had dried tears on my face. She was holding my hand as I stared out the window. “You okay hun?” She broke the silence. I simply shook my head yes. I didn’t even know if she could see it. “Do you want to eat?” I shook my head no. I just wanted to get home.

The day was supposed to have gone very differently.

We were up early, had packed the Jeep the night before with all Jessie’s stuff for college. Her mix of nervousness and excitement was contagious. Jody had stayed overnight; my own anxious nerves were as calm as they could be. I was excited for Jessie. She was starting her life. Timmy had no desire to go with us and I didn’t feel like forcing him, so he stayed at his friend Kyle’s overnight.

We piled in the Jeep, the back seat had just enough room for Jessie. The long drive was filled with bad singing, laughter and junk food. We arrived and went to all the move in day activities together. The energy around campus was infectious. We made it to her dorm and started moving her in. She was sharing a quad with 3 other girls. She had spent the day with 2 of them a few weeks ago and seemed to like them. I prayed they would all mesh and her year would be amazing.

Jody and I were heading out for the last load of stuff when I saw him. Evan. He was leaning up against the Jeep. We had barely spoken since Jessie’s graduation and she had made it clear to him she didn’t want him here today.

“Why are you here? She doesn’t want you here Evan.” I was hoping I could get him to leave before she saw him. Jody opened up the back of the Jeep so we could get the last few things out.

“She’s my kid too, Eleanor.”

I fucking hated when he called me that. “She told you she didn’t want you here.”

“Yeah, cus you’ve brainwashed her against me. You and her.” He said pointing at Jody. I could feel the contempt pouring off him. He got closer to me, I backed up. Jody moved between us. “I know what you two are.” He seethed at us. He got in Jody’s face, “Maybe if you hadn’t been fucking my wife behind my back my daughter wouldn’t hate me.” My body recoiled into Jody with his words.

“Shut the fuck up!” It was Jessie. She must have come out to help. “Get the hell out of here dad or I’m calling campus security. I told you I didn’t want you here. They are not why I hate you; YOU are why I hate you. Leave now!” He glared at her then back at me and Jody. She had stayed between Evan and me. She was holding my hand now.

He turned around and started to leave, then turned again, “You won’t turn Timmy against me too. I won’t allow it. You will hear from my lawyer Eleanor.” And then he left.

I was shaking when he finally drove away. “Mom. It’s okay. He’s gone.” But it wasn’t okay. We had been outed. There were people everywhere in that parking lot. I had no idea who heard the exchange. “Come on. Let’s get this stuff in the room.” She pulled on my arm and the three of us walked back to her dorm room. They both looked at me like I was going to break.

We got to her room, brought her stuff to her bed and she shut the door. Tears spilled down my face. Jody wrapped her arms around me, Jessie around both of us. “It’s okay. He’s such an asshole.” We stood that way, both of them trying to keep me in one piece. I finally shrugged them off. “Mom. It’s okay. It will be okay.”

“How?”

“First off, Timmy knows. About you two. He has for awhile. He figured it out last year when you weren’t together. He’s apparently a lot less blind than I thought.”

I just stood there, trying to process what she was saying. Jessie had told me more than once he was growing up, he was not little anymore. I wondered if that was her way of trying to tell me he knew. I looked over at Jody. She laced her fingers through mine.

Jessie looked at Jody.” And that means Madi knows too Jody. It’s just not a thing to them. It’s not. Maybe when you guys were teens it was different, but now, stuff like this doesn’t bother us. They are happy for you guys; bursa escort happy you are back together. We have talked. We’ve all been waiting for you two to be ready to tell them, to tell everyone. I don’t know how everyone hasn’t already figured it out anyways. Have you ever seen how you two look at each other? How you smile when someone says the other one’s name?”

I sat down on her bed. I was not ready for any of this.

She kept talking. “Timmy isn’t going to let dad take him. He’s not a child anymore.” She sat next to me and hugged me. “And don’t worry about me. I think my father being a total ass to my mother and her girlfriend in the parking lot on the first day of college is going to be a great ice breaker. Kids my age eat this stuff up mom, I promise. I’m going to be a legend.” She laughed.

I couldn’t bring myself to be as not worried as she was. I couldn’t read Jody. I wished that I could read her like she could read me. What was wrong with me that I didn’t know what she was feeling? We finished helping Jes get her stuff settled and then it was time to leave my first born. I had promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I broke that promise. She had grown up so much in the last few years.. “I love you Jessie. You are going to do amazing things.”

“I love you too mom. So are you. Love you Jody.” We each got hugs and kisses then we made our way back to the parking lot.

Jody paused and looked at me before she started the Jeep. “Please just drive.” I told her. She did. Now we were less than an hour from home, and I didn’t know what was waiting there. Logically I knew nothing different. That Evan wouldn’t be waiting for us, that no one was going to take Timmy when we arrived. That a phone call wasn’t waiting to tell me not to bother coming to work Monday. But my brain couldn’t be convinced. My body was fighting the panic on the horizon.

I could feel myself edging closer to an attack. I folded at my center and put my head between my knees. I couldn’t freak out. Not here. I could feel the Jeep speed up. I worked on breathing. Her hand was on my back as she drove. I didn’t notice she pulled off at the next exit until the Jeep had stopped. I unfolded myself and saw that we were in the back of a parking lot. She got out of the Jeep and walked over, opened my door, unbuckled me and took me in her arms. “Just breathe. I’m right here.”

She held me until I could breath again. She released me a little, “you good?” I shook my head yes. I was as good as I was going to be. She kissed me before she told me to sit back and buckle up, then shut my door. She got behind the wheel, took my hand and we drove the rest of the way to my house on the back roads.

We walked inside together. Timmy was not home. Jody took my phone out of my hand and started texting. I looked at her. “I’m checking on Timmy.” I started to protest; she moved the phone away from me. A minute later she handed it back to me and I checked what she had written. She told him to stay at Kyle’s again, that I was having a rough night and she was staying the night.

“Seriously Jody.”

“No more lying to him Ellie, apparently there’s been no point anyways. Go get changed, wash up, I’m ordering us food. You need to eat; I need to eat.”

I went up to my room and sat on my bed. I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep. I laid down, closed my eyes. My body started shaking. “Ellie. El wake up.”

“What the fuck.” I rolled over. “Leave me alone.”

“The food is here. We need to eat.”

“Leave me alone Jody. I don’t want food. I don’t want you here.”

“Bullshit. You are going to eat, and we are going to talk.”

“No.” I felt her climb on the bed. I just wanted to go back to sleep.

She laid down next to me. Her arm was around me. I tried to shrug her off, she wouldn’t move.

“Not going anywhere El.”

I sighed. Tried closing my eyes again. “Why are you like this?”

“Because I love you.”

“You might be the unstable one.” I rolled onto my other side; we were face to face. I reached over and kissed her. She kissed me back. My hands started to go under her shirt. She stopped kissing me, escort bursa put her hands around my wrists.

“No. We are not doing this Ellie. At least not until we eat and talk.” She sat up and pulled me up too. “Please Ellie.”

I glared at her but followed her downstairs. She had gotten Pizza. Quick and easy. Two pieces were on a plate where she sat me down. She went into the fridge and handed me a water. “Eat Ellie, please.”

I picked up a piece and took a dramatic bite. She rolled her eyes at me. I hated to admit it, but I was hungry. I finished what she had given me then got up and grabbed another piece. I sat back down. “I’m sorry for being a bitch.”

“You should be. I didn’t deserve that El.”

“I know.” We finished eating in silence. I got up, started cleaning and putting the leftover pizza in the fridge. I was shutting the door when she wrapped her arms around my waist.

“It’s going to be okay hun. Our timeline just got sped up a little.”

I turned to face her. I knew she was right. We had already discussed outing our relationship. We just both had wanted a little more time. We hadn’t been back together that long. My mental health was still shaky at best some days. “What if he’s already told Joe, this doesn’t just affect me Jody.”

“Joe already knows. He’s known since we split. I think he suspected before that, but he won’t admit it.”

I pulled away from her. “What? Wha. Why didn’t you tell me?” She had not talked much about her split with Joe to me. I just knew they were co-parenting and existing in the same space much better than Evan and I did. She once said they did much better as friends than they ever did as a couple.

“I kept meaning to. I’m sorry. I just didn’t know how to, then so much time had passed and I wasn’t sure. I’m sorry.”

I knew that what she wasn’t sure of was how I’d react. I was so sick of being handled. Of needing to be handled and taken care of.

“I’m going to shower.” I left her in the kitchen. I needed some space and to think. I went up to my room, turned the shower on and let the water warm up. I put my music on and stepped into the steamy water. The hot water and music worked together to relax me and I was soon singing along, loudly and off tune.

I was rinsing my hair when I felt a chill hit me. Then I felt Jody behind me. She kissed my neck, my back, her arms wrapped around me. “It’s going to work out hun. I’m ready. We are ready.” Her warmth mixed with the warmth from the water. It was dizzying. I rested my head against the wall as she filled her hands with my breasts. She tugged and kneaded them as she kissed my neck and back.

I turned around, grabbed her boobs treating them the same way. My mouth went to them. I backed her up against the wall, the water was running down my back. My fingers teased her mound. Hers went to mine. It was like we had never touched each other before. One of her legs was on my hip as my fingers continued to play. I thrust and curled and hit the spongy part inside her as her breathing got more ragged. I was nipping at the skin under her ear, certain I had left a mark. My thumb pushed her swollen button then backed off. Pushed again. She was clawing at my neck my back, left her own marks on my shoulder. “Oh god Ellie..” And I felt her whole body give in. The water on my back was still hot, I was thanking God for the tankless hot water heater.

Jody came down and put her arms around my neck. Moved me under the water as she assault my mouth with her tongue, her hands played everywhere. Her heat mixing with the heat from the water had my head spinning. I reached over and turned the water off. I couldn’t take the heat anymore. Jody didn’t stop when the water did. She was tugging and twisting my nipples and my clit. Her fingers plunged into me. “Fuck.” Her hand was on my neck holding me up. My legs went weak. My head collapsed onto her shoulder. She was kissing me again. “It’s going to be okay El. It’s going to be more than okay.”

***

That night we brought the 3 kids into my living-room, FaceTimed Jessie and told them, officially, about us. It was like a weight had been lifted bursa escort bayan off me as the words came out of my mouth. I knew that 3 of the 4 already knew but Kevin was the wildcard. He had dealt with so much change in the last year and it hadn’t always been an easy transition.

We finished talking and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Madi and Timmy were talking, telling us it was about time we made it official. They joked about how they were dating and so were their moms and that was going to be a very interesting family picture.

The way he so casually talked about her and I, like it was no big deal we were together, was going to take some getting used to. They were growing up in a very different world than I had.

“Mom, does this mean we can finally do one of those dorky Christmas newsletters so people understand our new dynamic? I mean you are a writer, just think of the way you could spin this.”

Jessie scolded him from my phone. I just laughed.

I was still checking Kevin for his reaction. I glanced over and Jody was too. We had decided not to prod him. Let him process. She said he would need time. As we sat there it hit me why Jody was always so good at letting me process my shit all the time. I squeezed her hand, she squeezed back.

He stood up. “Mom, I’m ready to go home.”

My heart sunk just a touch. I stood up when Jody did.

“Okay. Madi are you coming now?”

“No. Ellie can bring me later.” She glanced over at me and I nodded.

“Not too late. El has work in the morning.”

Ugh, why did she have to remind me. The kids didn’t start back until Thursday but I was back tomorrow. I loved my job but getting back into the routine was always a chore.

Kevin started walking towards the door. Jody followed him and said goodbye. I watched at the door as they got into the Jeep and drove away. I finally pulled away and told the kids I was going up to get my stuff ready for work.

I was packing my bag and getting my clothes picked out when my phone went off.

Jody- he’s fine

I knew she meant Kevin.

Me- Really?

Jody- yep. He’s taking it in stride. He’s talking more about starting his classes than us.

He was starting college classes at the local community college next week. I helped him pick them out, I knew a lot of faculty there. I had been contemplating an offer I received to teach a creative writing class in the Spring there. I hadn’t taught since I was in grad school. I moved away from teaching and into guidance after I had finished my first masters.

I hope his lack of interest really meant he was fine. I guess time would tell.

Me- I’m gonna bring Madi home around 9

Jody- okay. Make sure you come in

Me- I will ??

I finished getting everything set and went downstairs and packed my lunch. Madi and Timmy were watching a movie. I made popcorn and joined them on the couch. “How much time is left?”

“It should be over by 8:30.” Madi told me.

“Okay, I told your mom I’ll bring you home around 9.”

She nodded and went back to the movie. I settled in and watched what was left with them. When it ended I told Madi we were leaving in 20. I gave her and Timmy some space but warned that again I was leaving in a few.

I started out to my suv and Timmy ran ahead of me and jumped into the drivers seat. He was only a few weeks away from being able to get his license and took any chance to drive he could. He was proving to be a good driver so I sat back and relaxed as he drove us across town.

“Ya know mom, now that we all know, it’s totally okay if you and Jody kiss and shit when we are around.”

“Timmy!” Madi yelled at him.

“Well they can!”

I just shook my head. I was certain this was going to be an interesting adjustment, for all of us.

We walked into the house and Madi and Timmy flopped on the couch. Apparently they had no intention of this being a quick drop and run. The dining room was filled with packing boxes. I heard Jody in the kitchen and went in. She came over and gave me a quick hug and kiss.

“Water?”

“No thanks.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah. Just not looking forward to the alarm clock in the morning.”

She laughed. She had zero sympathy for me on this.

“Welcome back to the real world Eleanor.”

I gave her a side glare then laughed.

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